On Friday, Facebook formally launched its new feature allowing users to order food from area restaurants using the app.
Instead of directly competing with other services, Facebook has partnered with several players in the industry in its effort including Delivery.com, EatStreet, ChowNow, DoorDash, Zuppler, Slice and Olo.
It is working as well with restaurant chains directly such as Five Guys, Wingstop, Papa John’s, TGI Fridays, El Pollo Loco, Denny’s and Chipotle amongst others.
Users will find the new Order Food option in Facebook’s Explore menu, where users can browse restaurants in the area and click the ‘start order’ button when ready to order.
Users can place orders for take-out or delivery, and if the user has a Delivery.com account already established then the existing login can be used. If not, users need to sign for Delivery.com directly through the Facebook app.
In addition, users can read reviews about restaurants to help them make a decision on where to eat.
Facebook has developed a better relationship with businesses that specialize in food ordering for a period. Last fall, Facebook announced it reached a deal with Delivery.com as well as Slice, which allowed users of Facebook to place their orders from supported restaurants on their Facebook page.
Earlier in 2017, it was reported that the new ‘Order Food’ feature had been in the testing mode. Facebook then confirmed it was the expansion of a precious ‘Order Food” function through Facebook.
The idea was to determine if adding a point of entry through the main navigation of Facebook could help increase usage for its food ordering feature.
However, the company made no comment as to how long that option was live, or what percentage of users on Facebook had it to use.
Today, Facebook has confirmed that its ‘Order Food” option has been tested since 2016, and after the addition of more partners and in response to Facebook feedback, it was rolling the option out to all users in the U.S. on Android, iOS and desktop.
This move of introducing food ordering is one that allows the social media giant to keep its users on the app for a longer period of time, rather than seeing its users leave and move to other apps for tasks such as ordering pizza.
Facebook has rolled out several new features with the same goal in mind, including for things such as weather, moving listings, fundraisers, jobs, booking appointments and instant games.